Eleven years after it world-premiered at New Theatre, Nilo Cruz’s Anna in the Tropics remains one of the tallest feathers in the company’s historical cap. The play, about Cuban immigrant cigar rollers suffering the onslaught of mechanized industry in early-20th-century Ybor City, went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, trouncing an Edward Albee premiere in a well-earned upset, considering it did not play in New York City. Weaving in excerpts from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina — through the form of a lector hired to read to the workers as they toiled — the play boasts literary cachet that’s helped ensure its timelessness.
Now, this most South Floridian of subjects will receive a perhaps even purer treatment from Miami’s FUNDarte and Teatro el Público. For three performances only, the play will be produced in Spanish with English supertitles, thus capturing the nuances of the cigar manufacturers’ original language. Moreover, director Carlos Diaz, known for his irreverent, avant-garde stagings, has promised a conceptually reworked vision of Anna in the Tropics that will address contemporary issues and resound with Miami’s communal melting pot.
Nov. 22-23, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 24, 5 p.m., 2013